With the 2013 NHL draft fast approaching, it's always interesting to get some perspective on how a draft class can end up doing, even five years down the road. The following is a redraft of the 2008 NHL draft class based on my evaluations of the players on a value basis and not taking into account team need at the time or now.
The focus is on what a player has done in his NHL career and, most importantly, what he can do in the future. As a rule, I'm typically cool on goaltenders, which is explained more in detail here.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning, C Steven Stamkos, Sarnia (OHL)
Tampa made the right call at No. 1, as Stamkos is an exceptionally gifted offensive player who may end up being one of the greatest -- if not the best -- goal scorers of his generation. He's the true franchise center teams envision when selecting first overall, with the tools to be an elite player in the NHL for years going forward.